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Director relieved death care workers to receive vaccine

Photo Provided A HEARSE is parked outside of the Campbell-Plumly-Milburn Funeral Home. Death care workers are among the latest groups of people allowed to get the COVID-19 vaccine in Ohio.

MARTINS FERRY — Death care workers are among the new groups of people permitted to get the COVID-19 vaccine — something funeral director Chase Milburn and hundreds of others in his business are happy to hear.

Gov. Mike DeWine this week announced that among the people allowed to get the vaccine in the next round of vaccinations that start Thursday, funeral care workers were among them. Milburn, a funeral director and embalmer for Campbell-Plumly-Milburn Funeral Home, Barnesville, said he was happy to hear the news.

He has been working for months to get death care workers moved up on the state’s vaccine priority list, noting funeral workers are frequently exposed to the virus much like first responders and medical workers.

“I am beyond excited for the ability of the remaining funeral personnel who haven’t been included in other categories to finally have a chance at the vaccine that so many of them have been wanting,” Milburn said.

“I’m disappointed it has taken this long to get to this point, but looking forward, funeral professionals around the state will have a chance at the protection many other medical professionals have been given.”

Miburn said when he first learned of the news, he felt a sense of relief.

“I may not have single handedly changed the outcome of this, but I know that my fight was worthwhile. While we haven’t eradicated COVID-19 and fortunately we have seen a decline in deaths from the disease, I know I can breathe a sigh of relief knowing my friends and colleagues in funeral service won this fight,” he said.

Milburn added he is proud of his fellow funeral directors, the Ohio Funeral Directors Association, legislators, and friends in the community who helped in the quest to get death care workers added to the priority list.

There are about 3,500 funeral care employees who work in Ohio.

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